A time traveler from a week ago wouldn’t believe how quickly things have changed for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Like a Myles Garrett spin move around the edge, life has hit the 4-4 Bengals hard as a multitude of new and old problems plagued them in their third-straight AFC North loss on Monday night. The Cleveland Browns eventually took advantage and didn’t look back in their 32-13 victory.
Key injuries are undeniably taking a toll on the Bengals, and it showed in the snap counts.
Game control clearly belonged to the home team in this one. The Browns ran 72 plays to the Bengals’ 53 and averaged 6.1 yards per play to the Bengals’ 4.3. Jacoby Brissett threw just six incompletions all game, and his offense converted eight of 13 third downs. There are more discouraging stats that portray the blowout, but you get the point.
There was nothing of the sort.
Cincinnati dearly missed their No. 1 receiver and started Mike Thomas (24) in his place. Thomas got one target and blatantly dropped it through his hands. It’s no surprise he didn’t see another ball come his way.
Trenton Irwin (23) got plenty of run as well with 21 of his reps being on the boundary. Irwin hauled in two receptions for 27 yards.
Last resorts at cornerback
Chidobe Awuzie’s torn ACL is as heartbreaking as it is debilitating for the Bengals’ defense. Awuzie played 27 snaps before painfully exiting the field and eventually being carted back to the locker room from the sidelines.
There’s simply no one on the roster that can replace who he is on the field, which is a Pro Bowl-level corner. Tre Flowers (26) got called upon and couldn’t hold up against Amari Cooper. He also ended up leaving the game with a hamstring injury.
Once Flowers left, Dax Hill (19) was all who remained to fill in on the outside. He ended up with 10 snaps at corner, with the other nine occurring in the box or in the slot.
Do not be surprised to see a cornerback signed onto the roster this week.
Cincinnati tried someone new as their fourth defensive tackle in Domenique Davis (19), who was elevated off the practice squad for this week. Davis rotated in behind Zach Carter (53) and Jay Tufele (37), as the entire Bengals’ defensive line proved to be no match for the Browns’ mauling group of blockers.
D.J. Reader can’t come back soon enough.
Bengals’ snap counts at Browns
|Jessie Bates III||S||71||99%|